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Capsicum Re announces Raja Balasuriya as its new chairman

July 10, 2020

Specialist reinsurance broker, Capsicum Re has named Raja Balasuriya as its new chairman along with other key members of its new executive committee that will lead the business through its next stage of growth.

Balasuriya takes over from fellow Capsicum Re founder, Grahame Chilton, who announced he would re-join the wider Gallagher business, working alongside Tom Gallagher, CEO of Gallagher’s global property and casualty broking business as chairman, when Capsicum Re became the wholly owned specialist reinsurance arm of Gallagher in January 2020.

Balasuriya served as Capsicum Re’s first ever managing partner from 2014 and alongside this with his partners they led and have grown its UK Motor & Liability division since the beginning.

He has been Lloyd’s broker since the early 1980s, a respected market figure and leading producer in the UK motor treaty space. He joined Chilton and Capsicum Re CEO Rupert Swallow to establish and head up Capsicum Re’s very first specialist ‘cell’ under the original start-up structure.

Capsicum Re’s new Executive Committee includes:

Rupert Swallow as CEO; Raja Balasuriya as chairman; Matt FitzGerald as managing partner, Property & Specialty; Alistair Lockhart-Smith as managing partner, Marine & Energy; Abbhi Bala as finance director and Simon Behagg chief operating officer.

Swallow commented: “By anyone’s estimation, Raja is one of the top reinsurance market producers. Together with his team and clients, he represents a significant share of the total book of motor reinsurance purchased here in the UK. More than that, Raja has always shared our vision and belief in being able to build – from the ground up – a fresh, new, entrepreneurial reinsurance broker with transactional expertise, innovation and client advocacy at its core.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have him as our chairman as we embark on the next major development phase for the business. His knowledge, insight and pioneering qualities will be incredibly valuable as we look to realise our strategic growth ambitions internationally. And, as the specialist reinsurance arm of one of the world’s largest insurance brokers, those ambitions are big, bold and almost boundless.”

Commented on the new Executive Committee, Swallow added: “Alistair and Matt have, along with Raja, developed portfolios of substance in an incredibly short period of time. The challenge of succeeding in this way can be understood only by those who have put themselves to the ultimate test of production – creating a start-up and building from the ground up. Along with all the other Managing Partners of Capsicum Re, Alistair and Matt have excelled in meeting this challenge.

“The scale of our ambition and untapped nature of many of the opportunities that lie ahead demand a close-knit but diverse core leadership team. Combining our top financial and operational talent in Abbhi and Simon with the client-centred, risk transfer expertise and leadership experience of Alistair and Matt, as two of our divisional heads, will give us a razor-sharp focus on realising this business’ potential.”